Nick Young’s detractors would say that he’s a gunner with a low basketball IQ who shoots without conscience, and without a regard for consequences.
And if they watched even just the first quarter of the Sixers’ blowout loss to the Knicks on Monday, they would likely have sore necks this morning from nodding in agreement with themselves so vigorously.
Young was an offensive disaster to open the game, playing less than six first-quarter minutes off the bench, but managing to jack up seven shots during that span while connecting only once.
Missing shots isn’t the end of the world, if they’re open looks that come within the flow of the offense. But looking at a couple of Young’s possessions, whatever he was doing out there was pretty much the exact opposite of flawless execution.
Twenty seconds into this clip, Young receives the ball on the wing behind the three-point line. In his defense, he was put in a tough situation here with under five seconds left on the shot clock.
But the decision to try to dribble through two defenders and into a third waiting for him in the paint wasn’t wise, and the decision to — what was that, a pass? — wasn’t any wiser. And the desperation heave to end it all was just plain ugly; clearly, Young has seen this Rajon Rondo highlight one too many times.
This next one, though [via EOB] is possibly one of the worst offensive choices in recent memory.
Ten seconds left on the clock, falling out of bounds, and the two words that flash before your eyes are … SHOOT IT?
He can’t pinpoint exactly when it happened and didn’t even feel it during the game, but when Lowry woke up the next morning he knew something was up.
“Honestly, I thought I’d slept on it wrong — I thought it would go away,” Lowry said. “It was a little sore, but I paid no attention to it.”
Unconcerned at the time, Lowry didn’t tell anyone but his wife about the wrist pain, and took off for New Orleans where he participated in both the NBA’s three-point contest and all-star game this past weekend. He received some treatment in between his all-star appearances and iced his wrist on and off, but he still saw little cause for alarm.
“I thought over the break it would rest up and heal up,” Lowry said. “But it constantly stayed bothering me.”
“That’s a blow — that’s a huge blow for us,” Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said Friday evening after announcing the injury. “I don’t know how long he’s going to be out. But, no, it’s not a one-day thing.”
This is bad — bad for the Raptors and bad for Lowry’s reputation.
Lowry might have wanted to show his toughness by not running to the doctor for every bump or bruise. But this will also raise questions about whether he prioritized the shine of All-Star Weekend over the grind of Toronto’s season. Lowry is not a trained medical professional, so it’s understandable he misdiagnosed his injury. But he makes his living using his body, and his employer provides trained medical professionals to handle these types of things. Lowry’s bet that his wrist would heal over the break clearly backfired.
And now the Raptors pay the price. They traded for Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker to make a push, but that’ll be much tougher without the the team’s best player. Toronto beat Boston without Lowry, but the Raptors are still fourth in the Eastern Conference. Passing the Wizards for third is paramount to avoiding a second-round matchup with the Cavaliers and getting a clearer path back to the conference finals.
Every game matters now for Toronto, and wherever blame falls, Casey nailed the outcome: Lowry’s injury is a huge blow.
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